WATCH: Gary Payton presents Marcus Smart with DPOY award originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Marcus Smart joined an exclusive club on Monday.
The Boston Celtics guard was named the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first point guard to win the award since Seattle SuperSonics great Gary Payton in 1995-96. Payton presented Smart with the award in front of his C’s teammates.
“You’re a guy that I think reminds me of myself,” Payton told Smart. “Everybody asks me about it all the time. You play that D the way you’re supposed to. You play it with a chip on your shoulder and some heart.”
After Payton announced Smart as the DPOY winner, the C’s veteran was mobbed by his teammates.
Smart beat out Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert — the DPOY in three of the last four seasons — and Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges for the award. He follows Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett as the second Celtics player to be named Defensive Player of the Year.
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